CAMERON, Mo. — Maryville football arrived at Dave Goodwin Memorial Field in Cameron, Missouri, with a few goals to achieve. The Spoofhounds were looking to grab their first road win, and stay in the Midland Empire Conference race for first place.
Cameron (3-2, 1-2 MEC) was looking to keep the Spoofhounds (3-2, 2-1 MEC) out of the win column when on the road. The Dragons tested the ’Hounds struggling defense and put up 6 points off a 1-yard run from the junior quarterback Ty Speer in the first quarter for the game’s first points.
That would be the last time the Dragons found the end zone, and those points wouldn’t be enough to keep the Spoofhounds at bay as Maryville pulled out a victory, 27-7 Sept 25.
“I’m happy for every win we get as a program, that’s a good win,” Maryville coach Matt Webb said. “I thought Cameron played very hard, and I thought we played hard. I’m excited for this win.”
The offensive and defensive lines were a focal point coming into the Week 5 matchup. After being unable to open holes for their running backs against St. Pius X Sept. 18, Webb stressed the importance of offensive line play throughout the week.
Maryville senior running back Connor Weiss had more holes to run through this time around, and scored his first touchdown rushing off a 5-yard run in the second quarter.
Weiss’ biggest and most crucial run came with just under five minutes left in the game. Winning 20-7, the Spoofhounds were looking for that dagger to put the Dragons to rest.
Weiss took the handoff from junior quarterback Connor Drake and sliced his way past five Cameron defenders trying to make the tackle before being wrestled into the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown.
“You always think touchdown when you’re running the ball, and I saw the blocks. The lineman did a great job,” Weiss said. “I just came off a few tackles, and then got in the end zone. I did my job, and the lineman did their job, and we put up a touchdown.”
Weiss also picked up a receiving touchdown for 19 yards on a fourth-and-4 that gave the Spoofhounds their first points. Weiss finished with 124 yards rushing and two touchdowns with 27 yards receiving and a score.
“He’s got that quick step, and when you play on turf, especially like this, you can really gain a quick advantage,” Webb said. “He’s running the ball really hard, and making some extra effort plays when he’s running the ball.”
Weiss wasn’t the lone effective piece in the Spoofhound offense against the Dragons. While Drake threw an interception on Maryville’s first drive, he quickly flushed it.
Besides the 19-yard touchdown to Weiss in the second quarter, he was called on to find the end zone with a minute left before halftime. A flood route allowed senior wideout Caleb Kreizinger to get open on the deep post, and Drake connected for a 34-yard touchdown to put the Spoofhounds up 20-7 at halftime.
“I think he’s getting a little more comfortable,” Webb said. “He was making good decisions and had a couple of good balls to Caleb. He had some really good touch on some of those throws."
The defense, which has allowed a combined 77 points on the road, kept Cameron to 7 on the night. The 6-foot-9-inch junior defensive end Marc Gustafson made his presence felt with multiple tipped passes on the night.
“Coach really emphasized on getting our hands up, as we knew the quarterback was a low passer,” Gustafson said. “We knew if we got our hands up we’d get some blocks.”
With Dragons’ senior quarterback Tyler Campbell out for the matchup, the Spoofhound defense had to try and contain junior wideout Ty Speer in the backfield. His speed makes him dangerous. After Speer’s touchdown, Maryville made the correct adjustments to contain him from breaking loose.
“I thought we did a good job of getting off the field, we tried to manufacture some pass rush with bringing in a couple faster guys at defensive end,” Webb said. “I thought our defense kept us in that game for a while.”
Maryville senior cornerback Matt Goodridge had trouble containing St. Pius X receiver David Deters in Week 4, but had better luck this time around. He ended the night with two interceptions, and Kreizinger grabbing the another.
“I was pleased, and thought we did some better things tonight with technique,” Webb said. “Matt Goodridge had some better plays on some deep balls. That shows they’re listening to what we’re talking about in practice.”
The praise from Webb is something the defensive line was looking to receive.
“We definitely wanted to prove a point,” Gustafson said. “We knew we had to prove to our coaches that we could do it.”
The Spoofhounds find themselves with a winning record and look to continue to stay that way. While Benton was scheduled to visit the ’Hound Pound Oct. 2, the Cardinals had to cancel due to quarantined players and staff.
While Maryville could be facing a bye week, all that seems to matter right now is the win against Cameron.
“We got to stay focused, and do our part,” Gustafson said. “We can’t take it for granted.”